WSR 00-21-038

PERMANENT RULES

DEPARTMENT OF

FISH AND WILDLIFE

[ Order 00-215 -- Filed October 12, 2000, 3:04 p.m. ]

Date of Adoption: October 6, 2000.

Purpose: Amend cougar hunting.

Citation of Existing Rules Affected by this Order: Amending WAC 232-28-272.

Statutory Authority for Adoption: RCW 77.12.047.

Adopted under notice filed as WSR 00-16-154 on August 2, 2000.

Changes Other than Editing from Proposed to Adopted Version: Bag limit modified to require taking of first legal cougar.

Practical alternatives to public safety cougar removal enumerated.

Criteria for public safety cougar removal clarified.

Application date changed to November 15, 2000. Ineligibility based on having taken two cougar deleted. Applicants required to have hounds at their disposal. Hounds required to be used in a removal. Partnership application deleted. Up to four persons eligible to participate in a removal, only the permit holder may take a cougar. Applications to be by region, applicants may apply for more than one region. Weighted point selection system deleted. Date of notification of selection deleted. Applicants required to accept permit within fifteen days of selection or forfeit permit and be placed on participant list for later selections. Permits nontransferable. Permit holders to advise Olympia twenty-four hours prior to exercising permit. Department reserves right to accompany permittee.

Definition of terms provided.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Comply with Federal Statute: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Federal Rules or Standards: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Recently Enacted State Statutes: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted at Request of a Nongovernmental Entity: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted on the Agency's Own Initiative: New 0, Amended 1, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted in Order to Clarify, Streamline, or Reform Agency Procedures: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0.

Number of Sections Adopted Using Negotiated Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; Pilot Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0; or Other Alternative Rule Making: New 0, Amended 0, Repealed 0. Effective Date of Rule: Thirty-one days after filing.

October 12, 2000

J. P. Koenings

for Kelly White, Chairman

Fish and Wildlife Commission

OTS-4241.4


AMENDATORY SECTION(Amending Order 00-50, filed 5/23/00, effective 6/23/00)

WAC 232-28-272
2000-2001, 2001-2002 and 2002-2003 Black bear and cougar hunting seasons and regulations.


Black Bear Seasons:


Hunt Name 2000 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1 - Nov. 5 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 5 - Nov. 5 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 5 - Nov. 5 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1 - Nov. 12 GMUs 407, 410, 454, 466, 490-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1 - Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15 - Nov. 12 PLWMAs 401, 600
Long Island Sept. 1 - Nov. 12 Long Island
Hunt Name 2001 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1 - Nov. 4 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 4 - Nov. 4 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 4 - Nov. 4 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1 - Nov. 11 GMUs 407, 410, 454, 466, 490-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1 - Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15 - Nov. 11 PLWMAs 401, 600
Long Island Sept. 1 - Nov. 11 Long Island
Hunt Name 2002 Season Hunt Area
General Eastern Aug. 1 - Nov. 3 GMUs 121-142, 203-382, 578, 588
Northeastern Sept. 3 - Nov. 3 GMUs 101-117
Blue Mt. Sept. 3 - Nov. 3 GMUs 145-154, 162-186
General Western Aug. 1 - Nov. 10 GMUs 407, 410, 454, 466, 490-520, 524-574, 601-684
North Cascades Aug. 1 - Nov. 30 GMUs 418-450, 460
West Side PLWMAs July 15 - Nov. 10 PLWMAs 401, 600
Long Island Sept. 1 - Nov. 10 Long Island

License Required: A valid big game hunting license which includes black bear as a species option is required to hunt black bear. One black bear transport tag is included with a big game hunting license that has black bear as a species option. A second black bear transport tag must be purchased to take a second bear.


Bag Limit: Two (2) black bear per annual hunting season only one of which may be taken in Eastern Washington.


Hunting Method: Hunters may use any lawful big game modern firearm, archery, or muzzleloader equipment for hunting black bear. The use of hounds and bait to hunt black bear is prohibited statewide.


Harvest Report Cards: All hunters that purchase a big game hunting license which includes black bear as an option are required to fill out and return their black bear harvest report card(s). Successful hunters must complete the report card(s) and return within 10 days after taking an animal. Unsuccessful hunters are required to complete and return their report card(s) within 10 days after the close of the bear season.


Submitting Bear Teeth: Successful bear hunters must submit the black bear premolar tooth located behind the canine tooth of the upper jaw.


Cougar Season:


General Statewide Season:

Aug. 1, 2000 - Mar. 15, 2001;

Aug. 1, 2001 - Mar. 15, 2002; and

Aug. 1, 2002 - Mar. 15, 2003.


License Required: A valid big game hunting license which includes cougar as a species option is required to hunt cougar.


Bag Limit: Two (2) cougar per ((annual hunting season)) license year excluding public safety cougar removals. It is unlawful to kill or possess spotted cougar kittens or adult cougars accompanied by spotted kittens. Individuals selected for a public safety cougar removal permit may take one (1) cougar and must take the first legal cougar available.


Tag Information:

(1) One cougar transport tag is included with a big game license that has cougar as a species option. A second cougar transport tag must be purchased to take a second cougar.

(2) Individuals selected for a public safety cougar removal must possess a valid big game license and cougar transport tag prior to issuance of the permit. Individuals may participate in multiple public safety cougar removals, but must purchase a cougar transport tag for each cougar removed. Purchases in excess of two (2) cougar transport tags must be made at department offices.


Hunting Method: Hunters may use any lawful big game modern firearm, archery, or muzzleloader equipment for hunting cougar. The use of hounds to hunt cougar is prohibited ((statewide)) except during a public safety cougar removal.


Harvest Report Cards: All hunters that purchase a big game license which includes cougar as a species option are required to fill out and return their cougar harvest report card. Successful hunters must complete the report card and return within 10 days after taking an animal. Unsuccessful hunters are required to complete and return their report card within 10 days after the close of the cougar season.


Cougar Pelt Sealing: Any person who takes a cougar must notify the department within 72 hours of kill (excluding legal state holidays) and provide the hunter's name, date and location of kill, and sex of animal. The raw pelt of a cougar must be sealed by an authorized department employee within five days of the notification of kill. Any person who takes a cougar must present the cougar skull, in such a manner that teeth and biological samples can be extracted, to an authorized department employee at the time of sealing.


Public safety cougar removals:

The commission authorizes the director to issue public safety cougar removal permits consistent with this rule. Prior to issuing public safety cougar removal permits, the department shall use other practical alternatives to address a public safety need, including livestock or pet depredations. Other practical alternatives may include, but are not limited to, general cougar hunting seasons, general public information, educational programs, information to recreational hunters, cougar depredation/kill permits, and department capture and relocation/euthanasia of specific cougars.


Public safety cougar removals: Criteria.

(1) The commission determines that when the above practical alternatives have been utilized within a game management unit, four or more confirmed human-cougar safety incidents or livestock/pet depredations per year and seven or more confirmed cougar sightings or nuisance activities per year therein demonstrate that the practical alternatives have been inadequate to address the public safety need. The director then is authorized by the commission to remove one or more cougar, with the aid of dogs, in a selected area of that game management unit or nearby geographic area suitable for the use of dogs. The commission authorizes the director to remove one cougar per one hundred twenty square kilometers of complaint area in preferred cougar habitat, and one cougar per four hundred thirty square kilometers of complaint area in marginal cougar habitat.

(2) Public safety cougar removal(s) will be conducted between December 16, 2000, and March 15, 2001, in selected areas of game management units designated by the director to address a public safety need presented by one or more cougar, not to exceed removal of more than seventy-four cougar during the 2000-2001 removal period unless otherwise authorized by the commission.


Public safety cougar removals: Permit issuance procedure.

(1) To participate in a public safety cougar removal, individuals must request that his/her name be placed on a list of available participants (participant list) by mailing their request to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife, Enforcement Program - Public Safety Cougar Removal, 600 Capitol Way North, Olympia, WA 98501-1091. The request must include the individual's name, address, phone number, and region applying for (see page 4 of 2000 Big Game Hunting Seasons and Rules Pamphlet for region map). Individuals may apply for multiple regions. An individual's request to be placed on a participant list for the 2000-2001 removal must be postmarked no later than November 15, 2000, or received at Washington department of fish and wildlife's (department) Olympia office no later than 5:00 p.m. on November 15, 2000.

(2) To be eligible for a public safety cougar removal permit (permit), participants must have at their disposal dogs capable of detecting and tracking cougar. The permit holder must use dogs while participating in a public safety cougar removal.

(3) Individuals eligible for participation in a public safety cougar removal will be randomly selected from the participant list. The department will issue a permit to the person whose name is selected from the participant list. Individuals selected will be notified by telephone or mail. Individuals selected must contact the department's enforcement program in Olympia and accept the public safety cougar removal permit within 15 days of being notified. Failure to contact the department will result in forfeit of the permit and the individual will be placed on the participant list for later selections. Permits may not be sold or reassigned.

(4) No more than four (4) total individuals may participate per public safety cougar removal, including the permit holder(s). Only the permit holder, whose name appears on the permit, may take a cougar.

(5) Permit holders shall notify the department's enforcement program in Olympia at least 24 hours prior to exercising a public safety cougar removal permit. The department reserves the right to accompany permit holders while participating in a public safety cougar removal.

(6) Permit holders must complete the department's public safety cougar removal education course prior to participating in a public safety cougar removal.


Definitions:

As used in this section and in the context of public safety cougar removals, the following definitions apply:

(1) "Confirmed" means qualified department staff is led to believe a cougar(s) was at the scene of the incident by interview of the complainant or observation of evidence at the scene.

(2) "Human-cougar safety incident" means aggressive or unusual behavior by a cougar which presents an actual or perceived threat to an individual.

(3) "Livestock or pet depredation" means incidents where livestock and/or pets are killed and/or injured by cougar.

(4) "Marginal cougar habitat" means those areas usually dominated by urban/suburban, developed lands with relatively high human densities.

(5) "Nuisance activity" means incidents associated with property disturbance, property damage, or livestock/pet harassment.

(6) "Preferred cougar habitat" means those areas usually dominated by rural, undeveloped lands with relatively low human densities.

(7) "Public safety need" means there exists a reasonable threat to human safety or property by one or more cougar, as indicated by the level of confirmed human-cougar safety incidents or livestock/pet depredations, and confirmed cougar sightings or nuisance activities.

(8) "Removal" means the act of killing one or more cougar with the aid of dogs.

(9) "Sighting" means a direct observation of one or more cougar, in urban or rural settings, near individuals or residences; typically more than chance observations.

[Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040, 77.12.010, 77.12.020, 77.12.770, 77.12.780. 00-11-137 (Order 00-50), 232-28-272, filed 5/23/00, effective 6/23/00. Statutory Authority: RCW 77.12.040. 99-01-138 (Order 98-249), 232-28-272, filed 12/22/98, effective 1/22/99; 98-10-008 (Order 98-57), 232-28-272, filed 4/22/98, effective 5/23/98.]

Washington State Code Reviser's Office